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Ed Wolff
Vitals: Beth Wolff REALTORS®
Years in business: 42
Region served: Greater Houston Area
Size: 2 offices, 40 agents
2020 transactions: approximately 350
2020 sales volume: approximately $250 million

As a fourth-generation Houstonian, Ed Wolff, president of Beth Wolff REALTORS®, knows the area he covers to a T. Working under his mother, company namesake Beth Wolff, played a strong role in Ed Wolff becoming one of Houston’s top minds in the business. Working together, mother and son now lead one of Texas’ most successful residential brokerages.

Why did you decide to enter the family business? 
Ed Wolff: I was born into this business. My mother started our company in 1978 and raised me and my sister while selling real estate. I went to college and got my degree in psychology, and when I got out, I realized that I didn’t want to sit and listen to people’s problems all day long, so I went into the family business. Turns out, I probably use psychology more in real estate than I would have in psychology! That was in 1993, and I haven’t looked back.

Last year was unusual considering COVID. How were you impacted? 
EW: If you look at our market, we’re down over last year, and we can attribute that directly to the shutdown and people getting their feet underneath them and understanding how to live during a pandemic. Things eventually picked up and our market is very good as we start 2021. For a company like ours, we’ve been through the oil bust, we’ve dealt with 9/11, we’ve been through the 2008 financial crisis and Hurricane Harvey. There’s a list of things we’ve had to deal with that were major impacts, and every time we’ve come out stronger.

Do you have a growth strategy for 2021?
EW: It is very complicated right now to analyze where the market is going to go in the coming year, and it will be much clearer come spring.

How have you kept morale up for agents and staff?
EW: In 1985, my mother had an agent walk in and show her an article from The New York Times which said, “The last one out of Houston should turn out the lights.” My mom looked at the agent and said, “Do you have listings?” and the agent said yes. My mom then asked, “Do you have buyers?” and the agent said yes. So my mom said, “Stop reading The New York Times.” The point is, if you do what you do best to serve your clients, you will always have business and opportunity.

What makes someone right for your firm? 
EW: We are looking for full-time real estate professionals. We are concerned about our reputation, and our goal is to “trust wisely.” We want professionals who are looking to provide a high level of service to people who are managing some of the most expensive assets that they own in their lives. We want people with a diverse background in business and life.

What’s a piece of advice you offer to your agents?
EW: Every person you know needs a place to live. If you do your job right, you make this a part of your lifestyle. I walk my kids to school every day, and when I do so, I bump into people in the neighborhood—and those people know I live in the neighborhood. At the same time, I can’t even count the tens of millions of dollars of real estate I have sold to friends of my children through being connected with the school. It’s about making your career inseparable from your life.

What is it that you love about this business?
EW: The people. Anytime I have the opportunity to help somebody create the living environment for their family and life, I have done a good deed. There’s something really fulfilling about seeing somebody comfortable in an environment we’ve placed them in.

Keith Loria is a contributing editor to RISMedia.